Petroleum analysis involves assessing petroleum and its associated products to ensure the physical and chemical properties conform with the industry standards and market criteria. It’s usually done during the upstream, midstream, and downstream production processes. Most of which include sampling, cleaning up, and chromatographic analysis. It’s put in place to review all the factors involved in the life cycle of petroleum.
No doubt, petroleum is a finite resource and not a renewable one. Petroleum analysis represents the action plan for it to thrive on. To be sustainable, it must satisfy the needs of today without compromising its ability for future needs.
The market operates under complex standards and conditions to improve proficiency and safety. Without the analysis measures, the industry will experience lengthy downtime, failure, and losses which may influence people to look for an alternative.
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Here is how petroleum analysis techniques can contribute to a sustainable future:
1. Petroleum Assay Data
Crude oil, a naturally derived petroleum product, is often referred to when discussing assay data. This is more like a refinery process for petroleum. An assay is conducted to scrutinize the chemical and physical properties of crude oil by petroleum testing laboratories. The characterization of petroleum is practically broken down during the crude assay process.
This chemical evaluation exposes the differences between various crude oil qualities. Two crude oils can never have the same molecular and chemical properties. Petroleum assay data assists refinery personnel, producers, and oil marketers in deciding if the properties feedstock is compatible for a specific petroleum refinery or the quality may cause regional, environmental and economic harm. In other words, companies can optimize petroleum through the assay data process. Performing assay analysis helps to check the quality of petroleum while being refined.
2. Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis
Detailed hydrocarbon analysis (DHA) is a separation procedure used by test laboratories that provides detailed molecular structure testing data for petroleum. The amount of hydrocarbon present in any petroleum product must be checked during petroleum analysis as this is the compound that ignites sparks and fire when using petroleum-related products.
Besides, hydrocarbon is the major component found in petroleum. It’s an organic chemical compound composed of carbon and hydrogen elements. Thousands of hydrocarbons are present in crude oil and petroleum refinery products such as explosives, fuels, fibers, gas, rubbers, solvents, including industrial chemicals. Hydrocarbon analytical techniques will help the petroleum industry to optimize production and adhere to regulatory requirements for safety purposes.
3. Identification Of Component Materials
Identification of all the components present in petroleum is carried out during petroleum analysis. An identification test will identify the reason why an additional element is present in petroleum. The presence may be deliberate or as a result of petroleum contamination. This is why test laboratories use additional advanced techniques like emission spectrometry, chromatographic methods, Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray fluorescence.
All these will make analyzing elemental content in petroleum products and substances accurate. The identification of these materials is further aided with the use of differential scanning calorimetry equipment on the surface of any tested component. This will help pinpoint potential faults in petroleum and its usable products before it gets to the end-users.
4. Gas Chromatography Analysis
Gas chromatography is an analytical technique used to separate mixed chemical substances into their individual components for each chemical to be critically analyzed. It’s a quick, easy and accurate technique for analyzing the complex hydrocarbon mixtures present in petroleum. This particular chromatography technique is regarded as the most vital analytical process in chemical laboratories for examining the composition of petroleum.
It does this by feeding a mixture into a detector that identifies the content of the sample. Gas chromatography systems are really simple for recognizing volatiles. It’s an analytical tool that can work as a purifier by separating the components of a mixture to be used in another experiment. It’s all about a reliable measurement of each compound found in petroleum.
5. Chemical Composition Test
The chemical composition of petroleum must be checked before being certified to be used for manufacturing or consumption purposes. The analysis will help in determining the composition of the various major and minor elements present in petroleum.
These elements can be metal and metal alloys, cast iron, aluminum, and aluminum alloys, nickel and nickel alloys, copper, and copper alloys. There will also be a breakdown of components such as dust, sediments, residue, liquid, and solid particles of different sources that are found.
Analysis of these chemicals and any other elements of various origins will help determine if their presence or absence is required. If their presence is needed, their quantity must conform with the market regulated standards to give a chance to a sustainable future.
The importance of petroleum analysis can’t be overemphasized to achieve a sustainable future. In an intensively competitive industry such as petroleum, it is necessary to keep quality checks for continuous usage. The use of comprehensive testing techniques explained above can provide innovative, economical solutions to this industry. More importantly, petroleum analysis will always be an essential strategy to satisfy future petroleum demands.